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CALL TO ACTION: Minneapolis Floyd memorial urges Americans to carry movement forward

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KTTC) -- After days of unrest, the city of Minneapolis is pausing to remember the life of George Floyd, the man the nation watched take his final breaths while in police custody, with a knee pressed on his neck.

Thursday afternoon's ceremony at North Central University was well attended by state and city leaders, even celebrities like Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart and Ludacris and activists like Rev. Jesse Jackson and Gwen Carr, mother to Eric Garner.

Family members spoke throughout the ceremony, shedding a light on the man George Floyd was.

"Everywhere you go, and see people how they cling to him. They wanted to be around him," George's brother, Philonise Floyd said. "George, he was like a general. A line of people, just like when we came in, wanted to greet him and have fun with him. Guys who were doing drugs, like smokers and homeless people, you couldn't tell, because when they were talking to George, it was like he was the president. That's how he made you feel."

Other family members who spoke -- echoed that same emotion. Philonise said that he loved his brother and had so many great memories with him.

While Floyd was remembered in the city he died in, it wasn't just a memorial, but a call to action. The family's attorney, Benjamin Crump, addressed the national criminal justice call to action and renowned activist Rev. Al Sharpton gave the eulogy.

"Brothers and sisters, what we are doing, is helping America be America for all Americans," Crump said.

Crump adds, "when we fight for the George Floyd's of the world, but more importantly we fight for the unknown Goerge Floyd's of the world."

Rev. Sharpton shared the same mindset.

"We won't stop, we're going to keep going until we change the whole system of justice," Sharpton said.

Sharpton adds with passion, "what happened to Floyd happens everyday in this country in education, in health services and in every area in American life. It's time for us to stand up in George's name and say get your knee off our necks."

In a moving and emotional scene, Sharpton asked the room -- and anyone watching -- to stand up in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds; the same amount of time George Floyd was on the ground the day he died.

"Somebody said, Reverend, eight minutes is a long time. That means it was long enough for the police to understand what they were doing. IT was long enough for one of the three cops to stop what was happening. It was long enough for the cops to rethink. When you sit in these eight minutes think about what George was going through...," Sharpton said. "We can't let this go, we can't keep living like this."

Watch the service in its entirety, here.


Beret Leone

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